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Alcohol sales and advertising restricted in Turkey

9th September 2013

The controversial law, which restricts the sale and advertising of alcohol in Turkey, has today been enforced (Sept. 9 2013).

The new regulations state:

• Retailers will no longer be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages between 10 pm and 6 am

• Alcohol sales will be prohibited within 100 meters (yards) of mosques and schools

• Images of alcoholic drinks will be blurred on TV adverts (this has been the case for cigarettes for sometime)

• Stricter penalties for drunk drivers, who if caught with an alcohol level above 0.1% will face up to two years in prison

• All alcohol bottles will display warning signs about the harmful effects of alcohol

The law will not affect the sale of alcohol in restaurants and bars. They will continue business as usual with alcoholic beverages being available at all hours.

However you cannot buy alcohol from supermarkets, mini markets or corner shops after 10pm or before 6am.

The new ruling will not impact Turkeys tourism.

Those traveling to Turkey will be unaware of the new ruling, as the nightlife scene in Turkish holiday resorts will remain unaffected.  Those who flock to Turkey for their summer vacation will be able to drink alcohol in the many bars, nightclubs and restaurants after 10pm.

Most impacted by the new ruling will be retailers, as during these restricted times is when much of their revenue from alcohol sales is earned.

The new law bans all retailers from selling alcoholic beverages at night. According to official data, there are

approximately 200,000 small retailers which will be affected by the new law.

It is now feared the new regulations prohibiting the sale of alcohol between 10pm and 6am may lead to retailers selling alcohol illegally and raises the issue ‘who will be responsible for monitoring the regulations?

The Islamist party, known as the AK party says that the law will protect the population, particularly the young from the harmful effects of alcohol.

The President Abdullah Gul has officially signed the law. Mr Gul is a former member of the ruling AK party.

Many have questioned whether the alcohol restrictions are necessary in Turkey, as the consumption of alcoholic beverages is already very low.

According to World Health Organization (WTO) figures, Turkey’s alcohol consumption rate is only 3.4 liters of alcohol per capita annually, which is significantly below the global average.

Advertising of alcoholic beverages will be completely banned, as well as promotions, sponsored activities, festivals and free giveaways. The only exception will be fairs aimed at the international marketing of alcoholic beverages.

And whilst the new regulation is causing controversy in Turkey, there are many other European countries that have alcohol restrictions in place.

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